Domain name registrar GoDaddy.com has taken a stronger stance in terms of the “Stop Internet Piracy Act,” or SOPA, saying that now, it doesn’t just “not support it,” it opposes it. Reading between the lines makes the opposition appear very weak, though, but it seemed to work: GoDaddy.com saw a net influx of domain name registrations on Thursday, Dec. 29, which was supposed to be “Dump GoDaddy Day.”
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook and on Google+
GoDaddy’s latest statement is:
“‘We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to GoDaddy’s prior support for SOPA, which was reversed,’ said Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman. ‘Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.'”
So GoDaddy has gone from supporting SOPA, which critics say could eventually lead to Internet censorship, sort of a U.S. version of the Great Firewall of China, to “not supporting it” (but not being against it, either), to opposing it. Read the statement above carefully, though.
The key point is “Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders.” It doesn’t oppose SOPA for any reason other than that there isn’t consensus. It’s not because it opposes SOPA per se, which organizations like the consumer-protecting EFF do.
That fine print seems to have been missed by most. GoDaddy had a positive day, and not narrowly positive, either. It gained 20,748 more domains by the end of the day than it lost. There were nearly twice as many incoming transfers as outgoing transfers (27,843 to 14,492) and more new registrations than there were deleted domains (43,304 new registrations, 35,907 deletions).
SOPA, and its companion bill in the Senate, PIPA (Protect IP Act), are “blacklist bills,” legislation that would “stop” piracy by blacklisting sites “accused” of such activity. However, as the EFF says:
“After all, these bills violate the Constitution, undermine your free speech, and threaten whistleblowers and human rights. The legislators don’t understand how the bills would modify the architecture of the Internet, but they won’t listen to the opposition of the architects who designed the network itself. Frankly, these bills are so bad they can’t be fixed: Internet blacklist bills must be killed.”
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up SOPA again when it reconvenes in 2012; PIPA will be considered in the Senate in late January.